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Lockheed Martin partners for space debris research
by Richard Tomkins
Palo Alto, Calif. (UPI) Nov 12, 2014

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Lockheed Martin is co-operating the largest infrared telescope in the Western Hemisphere to study space debris and for other research studies.

The partnership to operate the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, or UKIRT, is with the University of Arizona and others. The telescope, once owned by the United Kingdom's Science and Technology Facilities Council and now by the University of Hawaii, is located in Maunakea, Hawaii.

"Our team, composed of the universities of Arizona and Hawaii and NASA, will extend the life of this important telescope," said Matthew Bold, Lockheed Martin program manager. "We plan to grow capability and continue addressing pressing questions about our universe, as well as the space surrounding our planet."

Research conducted with the telescope in the past concentrated to study the evolution of the universe -- from the Big Bang to present. Its mission will now be expanded to study space debris near Earth and asteroids.

The space debris research will focus on the "potential impact space debris could have on operating satellites and the effects on global communication, weather prediction, resource management, disaster preparedness and commerce," Lockheed Martin said.

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